Single with Benefits

May 17, 2014 by

“I’ve been single for a while and I have to say, it’s going very well. Like . . . it’s working out. I think I’m the one.”

– Emily Heller

 

          I complain a lot about being single. I’ve been single my entire life. I’m kind of tired of it. However, lately, I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for the fact that I’ve never had a boyfriend; I am genuinely happy that I haven’t been in a relationship up until this point in my life. Ironically, I think being single has thoroughly prepared me to be with someone, because it has taught me how to be on my own. I know how to make myself happy. I know that my happiness comes from me, so I won’t depend on some guy for it. Since beginning The Happiness Experiment, I have made my own friends, defined my own ambitions, and created my own exciting life that is in no way a result of any interpersonal tie. Therefore, I’m grateful that I haven’t yet found a boyfriend since acknowledging that I want one almost one year ago. The Happiness Experiment may not have been the same had I entered a relationship at the beginning of it. I may not have grown to be as independent as I am. Plus, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go out with different guys, who have helped me further pinpoint what I do and do not want in a boyfriend.

          I know, my perspective on my single status has gone 360. What prompted the turnaround? I’ve been observing people I know that have been in relationships long past the point of happiness. I’ve been paying close attention to couples that are together only because they’re comfortable – the ones so comfortable that they don’t even realize they’re unhappy. Specifically, I’ve noted their dependency on one another. They seem to think they need each other. They’ve become that destructive we. They’re too highly associated, and one or both parties have isolated themselves from their friends in favour of their relationship. They’ve been together so long that they don’t remember how to define themselves outside of each other, especially if they’ve been committed from a young age.

          Though I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, I know exactly what it feels like to be emotionally dependent on another person. As I’ve said many times, before The Happiness Experiment, I was unhealthily attached to my best friend. I can tell you from first-hand experience that dependency is not happiness; it is fear. When you feel as though your happiness comes from an external source, you’re in a constant state of panic that you’ll lose it. That is not okay. Happiness needs to be self-generated, so you know that you’ll always have it. Furthermore, to be happy, you must be adaptive. People come and go throughout life, and you need to be happy enough on your own and confident enough in your ability to form new relationships that you can effectively cope with that reality. Putting yourself in a position where someone else holds your happiness makes you vulnerable and prevents you from uncovering other sources of happiness. There are activities, places, and other people out there that can contribute to one’s happiness. Those in dysfunctional relationships could miss out on them because they’ve made their significant others synonymous with their happiness, so they’re too scared to venture outside.

          On the contrary, I’ve had the opportunity to date and see who is out there, and being single has allowed me to determine what I want to do with my life without concern for another person. I am unbelievably thankful for this. Don’t get me wrong; I want a relationship. However, I don’t want a relationship for the sake of having a relationship. I’m often told that I’m too picky. I’m not. I’ve just had enough time to myself to know what I want in someone else. I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone just because he meets the points on my boyfriend wish list. I want a guy who I am so passionate about that he makes me not want to consider being with anyone other than him.

          Conclusively, I’d like to express my gratitude for my single status. It has contributed to my self-sufficiency, my happiness, and my confidence in who I am. A few months ago, someone I know put it very well: “I’d rather be single and happy than in a relationship and unhappy.” Cheers to single life!

Happiness Tip: Appreciate your single status.

 
Previous: My Lips are Unfortunately Sealed Next: Yes vs. Happiness
 

2 Comments

  1. Deep

    OH MY GOD YOU ARE AMAZING everything you wrote is beautiful it has taught me and my eyes are now widely opened I have now gained a lot of things I didn’t have and that is idependency and finding true happiness within myself. I am very grateful I’ve got to read this. Whoever you are may god bless you!

    • Thank you for reading and for your very kind compliments! I’m so thrilled to know that The Happiness Experiment has been a part of your personal adventure in gaining independence and happiness. Keep prioritizing both, friend!

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